Hashtag footprints can be revealing. The map below, for example, displays the top 200 locations in the world with the most Twitter hashtags. The top 5 are Sao Paolo, London, Jakarta, Los Angeles and New York.
A recent study (PDF) of 2 billion geo-tagged tweets and 27 million unique hashtags found that “hashtags are essentially a local phenomenon with long-tailed life spans.” The analysis also revealed that hashtags triggered by external events like disasters “spread faster than hashtags that originate purely within the Twitter network itself.” Like other metadata, hashtags can be informative in and of themselves. For example, they can provide early warning signals of social tensions in Egypt, as demonstrated in this study. So might they also reveal interesting patterns during and after major disasters?
Phi Beta Iota: This is a very important post — never mind that five billion do not twitter. The fact is that the world is self-organizing and Alternative C2, a concept developed by the NATO ACT Innovation Hub in Norfolk VA, is growing fast. Put bluntly, it is vastly less expensive and vastly more useful than NSA, to take one example of American mis-management run amok.
In our view, PRIORITY ONE should be to put a cell phone in the hands of every single person over the age of 7-10, and work to get very low cost smart phones into their hands as soon as possible. PRIORITY TWO should be to create local, national, and geional call centers and distributed diaspora networks that can educate each of the five billion poor “one cell call at a time.” Earth Intelligence Network has known this is the needed next step since 2006, but correspondence to the Pope, to the President of the USA, to the Secretary General of the UN, and to Sir Richard Branson, appears to have not been delivered to anyone capable of ingesting the idea for action. It will develop on its own, but changes to the earth that used to take 10,000 years now take less than three years — as Colin Gray teaches us, time is the one strategic variable that cannot be replaced or purchased. Hence, it makes sense for major powers that wish to transform in a positive direction, to embrace what is our new mantra: Design (free), Money (harmonized), Effect (peace & prosperity).